“you have rebelled against the Lord of heaven…and you praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, that neither see nor hear nor have intelligence. But the God in whose hand is your very breath and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify.” (Daniel 5:23)Some proudly go along living their lives with the premise that we come from nothing, are going back to nothing, all for the purpose of nothing. More simply put, we come from nothing intelligent for no intended purpose. Since intention implies intelligence, our being must be unplanned. It is curious that many of these same people are fascinated by science, and science fiction, that are full of speculations about making contact with intelligent cosmic dwellers – if only our instruments could be delicate enough or set in the right direction. We are reluctant to accept our loneliness in the universe.
Many atheists and agnostics can gladly agree that the known universe began some 13.7 billion years ago and they will also generally agree with the premise that every effect must have a cause, so if there was a big-bang there must also be a “big-banger”. They may even go so far as to agree that the big banger (whatever caused the big bang) must be something outside the known universe. Further still, they may consent to the metaphysical logic that demands the necessity of a “first cause”, sometimes called an uncaused cause, or prime mover, or unconditioned reality.
No matter how far causes are traced back, and no matter how much consensus there is, the consensus seems to crumble at the point of “intelligence”. For some, the universe needs to be “dumbly” there in order for it to suit their worldview. The cosmos is certainly intelligible, but there must be no intelligence behind it all. The first cause, whatever it is, can be mysterious, powerful, beautiful and mind-boggling, but it MUST also be completely mindless.
I find it superbly ironic that an intelligent discussion will diverge at the point of “intelligence”. C.S. Lewis said it intelligently (pun intended) in his book The Case for Christianity:
"Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It's like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God."Mindlessness does not beget mindfulness.The cosmos as cosmos knows nothing. There is a first intelligence, and it does not come from a mindless universe.